It started in 2004. Tales told by my Whistler snowmobile friends: stories of endless terrain, bottomless pow, a lack of people and a small logging town with a cool, chill local vibe. My fascination with Revelstoke Mountain Resort began back then and it took me twelve years to finally get there. While so much has been changed since 2007 when that first chairlift was put in, the small town vibe I discovered during my stay mirrored that of my imagination.
Check out a full Revelstoke terrain map here!
Revelstoke sits within the Purcell mountain range of British Columbia. Close enough to the ocean to still get the precipitation that (most of the time), blankets the coastal mountain ranges in a smothering of the white stuff, but far enough inland to reduce the snow’s density. The powder is lighter then that found in Whistler and snowfall more reliable then Rocky Mountains to the east. Couple good, consistent snowfall with the highest vertical in North America (1,713 metres or 5,620 ft), and you’ve got a killer mix for a good time in the mountains. It is a leg burner for sure. Even after 3 months of snowboarding almost every day, I had to sit down and rest on the ride back down to the base!
We were in town at the same time as The Red Bull Cold Rush event. A ski competition that drew the world’s best big mountain skiers to the cliffs, chutes and steeps of Revelstoke backcountry terrain. One day saw them being heli dropped on the top of the North side for a freeride competition, the next, they were hitting a slopestyle course build deep in the backcountry. It was great to see Angel Collinson, Lexi Dupont, Tatum Monod, Suz Graham and other great skiers in town and going for it on the course.
The Revelstoke Cold Rush with Lexi duPont
Revelstoke’s inbound tree skiing was where we found ourselves spending most of our time during our two day stay. With just two chairlifts in the alpine (The Stoke chair and The Ripper), you can access a huge area that hugs back to both chairs via a few flat cat tracks (get ready to skate snowboarders). Skiers right, just off the off The Stoke chair has a nice pitch of grouped trees and open clear cuts. Keep skiing right and you’ll end up at the other chair The Ripper.
There is a lot of decent terrain just a short hike from the top of The Stoke chair. Head looker’s left to the North Bowl or take the straight uphill climb to Sub Peak, granting you access to drop into Greely Bowl. There’s also the looker’s right option to South Bowl and the cat skiing area (this terrain that sits part of the tenure of the local cat skiing business). On the two powder days we got, we found ourselves waiting for avalanche control to finish up securing the North Bowl. When it opened, we were one of the first to head over there. It was a quick boot pack up and then a thin traverse along below the ridge. That traverse that morning was quite dicey… fall off it too low and you miss the entrance so you have to hike back up to it, go too fast and you may smash your face on one of the overhanging rocks! Basically it is a bit of an adventure ski to get to North Bowl but it is well worth it. North Bowl was the location of the big lines sections of the Red Bull Cold Rush competition. There were many chutes above the bowl that caught my eye, definitely a few Hollywood lines up there and worth exploring… if only we had more time!
I wish we had more time in Revelstoke to get our splitboards out and explore all of the ridges and bowls that extend past the cat skiing area. Revelstoke is known as a backcountry mecca and on first glance, I can see why. I never did find the famous pillow lines the resort is celebrated for… I guess we will just have to come back next winter!
If you are in town and fancy a good yoga session, some acupuncture or a massage, check out Welwinds Studio. I attended a few yoga classes and had the most blissful accupuncture and massage from the owner Diana… highly recommended. Also tacos at The Taco Club are amazing!
Thanks again for Revelstoke Mountain Resort for having us. Such a great two days at a world-class snowboard mecca!